Award Nomination 1: TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue has been nominated for an award by a Korean organization. The organization learned about him from tvN’s special about TNKR September 12, 2016. More details will follow after the organization announces the nominees publicly.

“It is an honor to be nominated. From what I have learned about the organization and previous award winners, I have no chance of winning,” Lartigue said. “But I will cheer on the winner and hope this nomination can motivate more people to get involved in practical ways to collaborate with North Korean refugees as they adjust to living outside of North Korea.”

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Award Nomination 2: We are surprised to update this so quickly. TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue has nominated for a second award. The organization found about TNKR from a news article. After doing research about TNKR, they concluded that he is a suitable nominee.

“I’m pleased to be nominated for only the second award the organization is handing out,” Lartigue said. “I kind of feel like LeBron James, Steph Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Casey Lartigue have all been nominated as MVP of the NBA. That is, this is completely unexpected and it is unlikely my name will be called as the winner. If I do somehow win, I will be accept the award on behalf of the many volunteers who have given so much time and donors who have given money to build up TNKR.”

In the last few days I have had some “no names, no photos” discussions with North Korean refugees. The refugees told me a few things. Read more

TNKR 북한이탈주민 글로벌교육센터 “인간 존엄성 특별회원” 임명

서울— TNKR 북한이탈주민 글로벌교육센터 (TNKR; Teach North Korean Refugees Global Education Center)가 납북피해자 가족 황인철 씨를 “인간 존엄성 특별회원”(“Fellow in Human Dignity”)으로 임명했다. Read more

SEOUL—The Teach North Korean Refugees Global Education Center (TNKR) is pleased to announce the addition of Hwang In-Cheol as its inaugural “Fellow in Human Dignity.” (“인간존엄성 특별회원”).

Hwang has been conducting a 15-year campaign to bring his father home from his 47-year captivity in North Korea. On December 11, 1969, a North Korean agent hijacked a domestic flight KAL (Korean Air) YS-11 from Gangwon to Gimpo just 10 minutes after take-off. All 50 people on board (46 passengers and 4 crew members) were abducted. The North Korean government eventually released 39 people, but held the other 11, including Hwang’s father.

Hwang joined forces earlier this year with TNKR when he joined as a student in the program and as a team leader in the “How to Help North Koreans” project. “Team Hwang” launched the #BringMyFatherHome project and has assisted Hwang’s efforts, including at a rally at Imjingak’s Freedom Bridge (June 17); a panel with North Korean refugees (July 30); an event marking the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances (August 30); a talk show concert (December 4); and an event commemorating the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 (December 10).

“Without TNKR, I would still be on the streets, hopelessly pleading for someone to hear my voice. Thank you, TNKR,” Hwang said. “I feel truly flattered. The fact you are standing with me is more than enough, but to be named as your new Fellow in Human Dignity truly solidifies my feeling of gratitude.”

Hwang was named a fellow at an event on December 11 marking the 47th anniversary of the hijacking. That same day, Hwang announced the launch of his new organization, “KAL Abductees’ Repatriation Committee” (“KAL기 납치피해자 송환 대책협의회”). Its purpose will be advocating with international institutions and governments that are state parties to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft (1970) to urge North Korea to return Hwang’s father and the other abductees.

“TNKR mainly focuses on helping North Korean refugees find their way and tell their stories, but we also have a special ‘How to Help North Koreans’ project that includes people with a deep connection to North Korea,” said Casey Lartigue Jr., International Director of TNKR. “We hope this appointment can bring attention to Mr. Hwang’s cause, motivate others to join his team, and demonstrate our commitment to his campaign.”

If you want more information about the #BringMyFatherHome project, please contact Casey Lartigue Jr. cjl@post.harvard.edu (English) and Youngmin Kwon friendsofhwang@gmail.com (Korean).

1969 KAL Abductee Family’s Association & TEACH NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES

Who is the man responsible for so many of the flyers, posters, videos, newsletters and other graphics highlighting TNKR?

Kiyun Sung!

He was a volunteer tutor at TNKR during 2014-15 and has been our volunteer graphic designer since then. He was recently profiled by Film Lab. He is an example of a volunteer who not only helped us as a volunteer tutor who filed his reports and kept us up-to-date, but since he left Korea, he has remained an active volunteer who helps us inform people about TNKR with original graphics.

TNKR National Director Eunkoo Lee decorated one of the walls at TNKR with posters Kiyun designed, and she is a holding a donation bucket made by TNKR board member Karin Hanna.

 

 

We had a lovely reporter visit the TNKR office to conduct more than five hours of interviews:

  • 2 tutors
  • 2 refugee ambassadors
  • 1 assistant academic adviser
  • 2 co-directors

Would you be surprised to learn that she is a great listener?

Read more

As a non-religious, non-political, and nonprofit organization, TNKR relies on private donations to fund our programs and keep them available to the refugees free of charge. By making a small donation to TNKR, you can ensure that North Korean refugees living in South Korea will continue to receive the educational and professional opportunities they need in order to attend university, acquire a job, and advocate on behalf of their fellow North Koreans.

If you have the means and desire to support our cause, please consider making a donation to TNKR. We appreciate each and every donation we receive.

Ways to donate:

  • TNKR Bank account in Korea
    • (Woori Bank) 1005-802-774890
    • Name on account: 티엔케이알(TNKR)
    • Swift code: HVBKKRSEXXX
    • Bank address: Taebongro 70, Seochogu, Seoul, South Korea
    • Bank phone number: 02-3463-9596
  • TNKR office: (Make the donation at the TNKR office in Seoul)
    • 서울시 마포구 독막로길 1808(신수동) (Gwangheungchang subway, exit 4)
    • office number: 070-4006-0942

TNKR had a very nice concert on Saturday. Of course, the co-founders, VIP guests, refugee ambassadors and MCs were highlighted. But we could not have gotten it done without our team behind the scenes doing the real planning and execution.

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Story 1: We were visted today by an NK refugee with her daughter who has been studying in our  program. They brought gifts to us and the mother wanted us to know how much she appreciates what we are doing to help her daughter learn English. Her daughter studied at Pagoda, which she said was good, but she said that TNKR is even better.

Of course, some of our tutors have come to us from Pagoda, so I’m not sure they have any magic when they come to us.

Mom was stunned when she learned more about TNKR, she didn’t realize it was run completey by volunteers and that the tutors are all volunteers.

Then she was even more thankful.

The other in-house tutor students who visited also gave gifts for the office. One of the refugees wrote us all wonderful notes in English thaking us for helping her so much. I don’t know her story, but when she first came to us, she was a bit feisty, even suspicious. Now she has embraced the program and I can see that she looks forward to visiting. Her note to me was addressed to: “Representative.”

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